A Small Favor
Statistics show that "favor trading," an illegal alternative to the government sanctioned bartering system, is on the rise. Should you find your services or goods requested as, "A Small Favor," you should decline the request and report the offending individual(s) to the authorities immediately. This is for your own good.
You are not to collect items and talk to people by "pointing and clicking" your "mouse." This is considered dangerous and suspicious activity by the Galactic Ministry of Regulations and is believed by many experts to lead to the exchange of goods and services through the outlawed favor trading system. This is for your own good.
All citizens are allowed a weapon. The Galactic Ministry of Regulations reminds you that it may only be charged or loaded in authorized areas. Recharge stations in unauthorized areas are only to be used by authorized security personnel. You are not to disable, tamper with, or in any way circumvent security systems. This is for your own good.
Play all the Small Favor games:
You may access your inventory at any time; however, you are not permitted to take items from that inventory and use them to complete tasks or to give them to other citizens other than in the instance of government sanctioned trade stations. This is for your own good.
Finally, you are not, under any circumstances, to click on the above link or any of the pictures in this message as they will lead you to a game that has been classified as subversive by the Galactic Ministry of Regulation. This is most definitely for your own good.
Analysis: Jay Ziebarth a.k.a. Zeebarf, of The Several Journeys of Reemus and The Visitor fame, has added programmer Caulder Bradford to his stable in the hope of freeing himself up to focus on the art and writing in his games. It shows.
You can't analyze A Small Favor without holding it up to Zeebarf's earlier works for comparison, and, yes, this newest entry has his characteristic art stylings and smoothness. But from there, A Small Favor blows its predecessors out of the water.
Of course those things that have earned Zeebarf his reputation are still in place. The writing, though perhaps a bit spare, is as good as ever, sprinkled here and there with sardonic wit. Meanwhile, the illustrations perfectly capture the feel of this dystopian sci-fi world, ranging from the parched expanses of a desert wasteland to the seedy interior of a rundown transport station.
But A Small Favor feels so much more deep, more fully explored, than Zeebarf's earlier games. This more traditional free-roaming Sierra/Lucas Arts approach to adventure games gives the player a stronger connection to the main character. Meanwhile, the complexity of the back story (protip: read all the material available to you on the loading screen) is such that the mind begins to fill in the gaps. This means that, while you only get to play one episode in this world, you can feel how it extends beyond that which you see. Everything around you has a personality and a history and ultimately a narrative depth that sucks you in.
The puzzles are also highly commendable, complex and definitely challenging at times, but also very logical. They shouldn't require too many leaps of faith. In other words, the puzzles are actually great amounts of fun to play through.
Even little nuances, like the way accepting a new mission will result in a message popping up on the screen with the flair of an arcade game or the way that unholstering your gun brings up crosshairs (though they aren't exactly necessary), are a joy.
We've enjoyed much that Zeebarf has offered in the past, but if A Small Favor is a taste of what's to come, I think it's safe to say that he will be a virtual powerhouse for fans of point-and-click adventures. From the excellent gameplay to the rich storytelling, A Small Favor is one of the best online adventures out there.
Also available to Play at the Zeebarf website